Children and youth make up a substantial portion of the Canadian population. They are a very diverse group – not only with regards to their culture, ethnicity, family structure, experiences – but also with regards to their living conditions and opportunities. There are numerous factors shaping the experiences of children and youth in Canada. In this module you will find population and demographic data describing who the children and youth are and where they live. As well, this module contains facts and figures presenting the diverse backgrounds of children and youth in Canada, their family life, economic security, education and health outcomes.

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This module begins with a Genetics Primer that explains genetic concepts such as the genome, inheritance, genes, and DNA. The module goes on to provide a brief examination of the incidence and prevalence of gene-related conditions in Canada. It then describes how genetic services are organized in Canada and the resulting implications for children and families. Genetic testing and screening are considered in detail to provide the reader with both an understanding of these concepts and an appreciation of the genetic testing and screening programs and technology that are available in Canada. The module continues with a description of prevalence and trends of congenital anomalies and an investigation of some of the congenital anomalies that are most common among children.…

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Canadian children and youth are culturally and linguistically diverse, bringing many different strengths, attributes and needs to their communities. Overall, children and youth who are recent immigrants fare well in Canada in terms of health status. However, the overall population of immigrant and refugee children and youth is not homogeneous – and certain groups of immigrant children and youth fare better than others. Immigrant and refugee children and youth also have unique attributes and needs that our systems should recognize and address. These needs may require specific interventions such as vaccinations or screening tests to prevent diseases. They may require increased community, professional and public awareness regarding issues that may arise due to cultural or medical ‘discordance’. Discordance can include…

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Creating the best possible environment for Indigenous children and youth to develop, grow and succeed is a responsibility we have as a society. Children and youth who have access to healthy food, physical activity, quality education, health care and positive parenting tend to be healthier and better equipped for the challenges they face growing up. The following module describes Indigenous children and youth in Canada, where they live, socio-economic issues they face, family structures they are part of, community supports and challenges, health services they can access, the impact of the environment on their health, and developmental outcomes. The Module is based on a Determinants of Health Model that examines the impacts of structural, systemic, community and family enablers on…

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The early years (ages 0-5) are a time of rapid growth and development. Creating the best possible environment for children to develop is important and a responsibility we have as a society to ensure strong and healthy children grow into healthy adults. Prenatal exposure to positive or negative influences could impact birth outcomes, which is why education and care for pregnant mothers is so important. Where young children grow up makes a difference too; children with access to healthy food, physical activity, quality education, health care and positive parenting tend to be healthier and better equipped for the challenges they face growing up. The following module describes Canadian children aged 0-5 and their families including who their parents are, where…

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The Growing Healthy Bodies Module is focused on child and youth nutrition, physical activity, sleep, body image, eating disorders, growth (height/weight) and the impacts of unhealthy lifestyle choices.  Each section provides detailed information to help better understand the needs of young, growing bodies.  There is also a Growing Healthy Bodies Quiz (one for parents and one for youth) that provides instant feedback on how eating, sleeping and physical activity patterns can be modified to help children and youth grow stronger, healthier bodies.

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